You may have attended a PGA golf tournament to see the pros play. If you have, you probably saw the pros warming up on the driving range. There are several reason they do this.
The first is the most obvious – to warm up their muscles so their swing timing, swing path, etc. is where it should be. With warm muscles, their intent each time they swing and their results should be pretty similar.
However, there are other reasons that are not so obvious. All golfers’ timing and muscle control changes from day to day. Hitting balls before teeing off gives feedback so adjustments in setup can be made to ensure straight shots. Slight alignment adjustments can be made to:
- hand position (see note below for a good starting point before adjusting)
- body alignment
- foot position, etc.
Slight swing adjustments can also be made:
- take-away path
- position of the club at the top of the backswing
- how long the wrist cock is retained
- angle of attack into the ball, etc.
Sometimes the type of grass they are playing from, how short or long it is, whether there is dew on the ground, whether it is raining, can dictate small swing changes.
Copying the Pros’ Smart Practices is Wise
We would all be wise to imitate the pros in this way. If we are hitting the ball a little off line, or even a little thin or fat, the time to make adjustments is before teeing off. Waiting until every shot counts is totally unnecessary.
Before every round experiment on the range to see what left hand position (for a righty) hits the ball straight most of the time. Check your body alignment by placing a club across your shoulders. Do the same for your hips and your feet. Use your ankles rather than toes to check foot alignment. The amount your turn your feet out can otherwise affect that checkpoint.
Go to the driving range before teeing off to maximize the likelihood of a good shot on the first tee.
NOTE: If you grip the club, then open up your hands while they remain in contact with the grip, your open palms should face each other. If you adjust the position of your upper hand (left hand for right-handers), your lower hand should be adjusted accordingly. (photo will be added).
Additional discussion of some of the same and similar topics are at: